ION aims to make ports smarter, safer and greener, starting in Scotland


ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) today announced the first successful digital switchover from manual operations to Marlin™ SmartPort optimization software for the initial project at Montrose Port Authority in Scotland with support from Scottish Enterprise. The migration to ION’s digital solution took place as the UK moved to sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and Marlin SmartPort supported business continuity and remote working.

ION aims to provide better realtime visibility of operations to transform the efficiency, safety and sustainability of ports and harbors globally. ION closely collaborated with Montrose Port Authority and industry experts to develop a compelling technology roadmap focused on driving real value in port operations of all sizes. Scottish Enterprise has supported ION over a number of years and the recent R&D grant enables the Company’s Edinburgh-based Software group to complete its next phase of technology development that enables better management of marine traffic and berth allocations. Port call optimization, back office digitalization and port community engagement are intended to enhance decision-making and drive increased revenue, efficiency and sustainability, such as reducing standby and related fuel emissions.

Senior Vice President of ION’s Edinburgh-based Software group, Stuart Darling, said, “Our software solutions are renowned for optimizing operations offshore and there is a great opportunity to bring that to the port environment as we further enhance our software. “The introduction to Montrose Port Authority and support from Scottish Enterprise has been invaluable. We have direct insight into the port’s operational environment to develop our software, and in return, it is great to see a positive impact on a Scottish business. “Building on this experience, we are now engaging with port community stakeholders from a number of countries and discussing opportunities for Marlin SmartPort to optimize port operations globally.”

Montrose Port Authority is a leading support and service hub for the energy industry as well as the general cargo market and has undergone an extensive program of upgrades in recent years as part of its wider masterplan.

CEO of Montrose Port Authority, Tom Hutchison, said, “The exciting move to Marlin SmartPort is a major leap forward for Montrose Port Authority (MPA) replacing highly manual port operation procedures with an efficient, integrated digital system. “The port is renowned for its ability to adapt easily to vessel requirements, but the new software really propels us to the forefront of the market, ideally aligned with our recent quayside redevelopment and the new landmark contract with SSE Renewables.

“The project also supports our ambitions to become Scotland’s greenest port.” Director of National Opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, David Smith, welcomed the digital project and said, “The innovation shown by companies such as ION to diversify and develop solutions for port and harbor operators really highlights that Scottish companies are at the forefront of digital transformation.

“The Marlin SmartPort project will benefit the environment as well as the wider business of the Port in Montrose as vessels can optimise fuel emissions so it supports our targets of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2045. “The technology deployed in Montrose aims to address a global marine market and it is fantastic the digital switch over that started in Scotland could spark ideas for projects across many industries.”
Source: ION



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